A year ago today - when Everton starlet Ross Barkley’s resurgence began

Ross Barkley signed for Sheffield Wednesday on loan a year ago today. Was this the catalyst which has made him an England international today?

One of the standout performers of the Premier League season so far has been 19-year-old Ross Barkley.

The teenager has finally begun to show the talent and promise that saw him thrust into first-team action at the tender age of 17 - but then a period of frustration as he failed to convince David Moyes of his first-team attributes.

But Roberto Martinez sees the young midfielder as absolutely vital to the new style of football he is trying to implement into the psyche of the Everton players - recently comparing Barkley to former Chelsea star Michael Ballack.

Today Barkley will play against Chelsea, and for the first time in a Premier League match he will do so as a fully-fledged England international.

And it could be said that a deal concluded a year ago to the day was the start of his mini-resurrection.

After failing to earn a place in the first-team under Moyes he was sent out on loan to Sheffield Wednesday - where Dave Jones had an idea of where to play him in his set-up.

Barkley played in his favoured position, his best position, central midfield - and he shone.

He scored four goals in 13 games but it was his general all round performances that caught the eye as Wednesday went through a decent spell of form in the Championship.

It was a chance to play regular football that the teenager took with both hands, and ever since the trajectory has been onward and upward.

Since then he has looked increasingly impressive - although a blip on loan with Leeds United could largely be attributed to Neil Warnock playing him out of position - and throughout pre-season he was one of Everton’s star performers.

Now he is cemented in the first-team at Goodison Park, and expected to start once again against Chelsea this evening.

Can he ever live up to be something of a Ballack for club and country, who knows, he is just 19-years-old.

But regardless of what happens he will always be grateful of the month he spent in Yorkshire playing regular football.

image: © geetarchurchy

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